On Monday, Ahmed Manasra, 14, was sentenced to 12 years in jail for colluding with his 15-year-old cousin Hasan Manasra in a 2015 stabbing of two Israelis — 13-year-old Shalev Naor, who was critically injured; and a 25-year-old, who was moderately injured. His cousin was killed by police and Ahmed was arrested.
Due to the high number of attacks by Arab juveniles, the government passed a “Youth Bill” which permits minors to be incarcerated beginning at age 12 for “nationalistically-motivated” crimes. Manasra turned 14 in January and fell under the new law. Usually, Israeli law considers minors under the age of 14 as below the age of criminal responsibility who cannot be sentenced to prison.
In the conviction, the court rejected the defense presented by Manasra’s attorneys that the cousins had no intention of murdering the Israelis, but simply wanted to “scare the Jews.”
State prosecutor Yuval Kedar welcomed the ruling. “The fact that the defendant is a minor is irrelevant. The defendant’s actions come in the midst of this ongoing wave of terrorism, which has already claimed so many victims, and where the attacks are often carried out by minors. We want to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law and ensure that he is punished severely,” he said.